BJP president Amit Shah on Friday hit out at political leaders critical of the move to demonetise high-value currency notes, “appealing” to them not to join the ranks of black marketeers, drug dealers and perpetrators of fake note rackets.
While Shah targeted BSP chief Mayawati, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, asking them to clarify their position on black money, he appeared to be a tad soft on Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee.
In reply to a question on Banerjee’s statement that the demonetisation would cause inconvenience to the poor, he said: “Only Mamataji can make such a statement; but the BSP does seem to have become poorer. It may be economic emergency for the BSP.”
Responding to another question on the West Bengal CM, he said: “I know she has opposed it and I am not aware what her problem is, but I would appeal to politicians not to join the ranks of black marketeers, hawala operators and drug dealers who are the only ones upset by this move.”
Describing the decision of demonetisation as an epoch-making moment in the government’s fight against black money, Shah appealed to people to bear the inconvenience of a few days in the interest of the nation. “I can understand the reactions of hawala operators, people involved in drug trade or hoarding black money, but I must say the reactions of the political class have taken me by surprise. I want to ask Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi, if politics is being cleansed, all political parties should be happy, taking black money out of the economy should not hurt them. You should make your stand clear — whether you are for or against black money, are you for or against hawala, are you for or against terror funded by fake currency and are you for or against black marketeers? People should ask them these questions. Parties should fight elections on this issue,” the BJP president said.
He appealed to the common man to bear with the government during the transition. “Honest tax payers have welcomed the decision and no honest tax payer should be scared. Small traders, farmers, housewives, all were kept in mind by the government while taking this decision and the inconvenience of a few days will only make the economy stronger, stem inflation,” he added.
Nobody, he said, had knowledge of the move beforehand except for constitutional and administrative functionaries. “The BJP has no illegal money, we file our returns regularly with the Election Commission and the income tax department,” he added.